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Cat Microchipping - Is It Mandatory?

Although it’s not compulsory to have your cat microchipped, the law is soon to be changing, with the UK Government set to introduce mandatory cat microchipping in the coming weeks. But what does this mean for cat owners, what is a cat microchip, and why should you get your cat microchipped? Find out more in our blog.


New Government Guidelines

The UK has recently announced their new plans to make cat microchipping mandatory. The new law is a part of the Government’s flagship Action Plan for Animal Welfare, which hopes to reunite more lost or stray cars with their owners.


“Under the new plans, all keepers must ensure their pet is microchipped before they reach the age of 20 weeks and their contact details stored and kept up to date in a pet microchipping database. Owners found not to have microchipped their cat will have 21 days to have one implanted, or may face a fine of up to £500.” Gov.UK



What Is A Cat Microchip?

A cat microchip, much like all pet microchips, is a small electronic device (around the size of a small grain of rice) that contains a 15-digit ID number specific to a pet. Once inserted, the ID number on your cat's microchip will be put on the National Pet Identification Database along with your data. This way there is proof of ownership and identification in the event of your cat getting lost or stolen.


In a microchipping procedure, the microchip will be inserted into the back of your cat’s neck via a microchip implant, quick, and simple, just like having an injection. This can be done in a nurse consultation - or if your cat is having surgery such as neutering a microchip can be inserted whilst they are asleep.


Microchipping lasts a lifetime as the chip sits in a capsule which is designed to not break down.


The chip is a permanent form of identification and when scanned by a handheld scanner it gives a unique number for your pet. This is then entered into a search database and after having obtained the contact details for the chip the finder can contact the registered owner. Microchips are not trackers so you cannot trace where your cat has been, unfortunately, there are no implantable trackers available as a tracker requires a battery.


Benefits of Microchipping

Microchips are a safe permanent form of identification that cannot get lost like a collar. They can also be used with microchip cat flaps to control who has access to your home or with specialist feeding dishes to feed cats separately.


As well as becoming a legal requirement, microchips also offer proof of ownership in a more permanent way than identification collars and ID tags.


Statistics reported on the Gov.UK website found that there are as many as 2.8 million unchipped cats in the UK (out of the over 10.8 million pet cats reported in the UK). Cats Protection - a charity dedicated to rescuing and rehoming stray, unwanted or homeless cats - also reported that 8 out of 10 stray cats brought to their centres are not microchipped. Therefore, having your cat microchipped will greatly increase the likelihood of them being returned to you in the event that they are stolen or lost.


The new cat microchipping bill will be implemented in the coming weeks.


For more information, read the full article on the Gov.UK website here.


To get your cat booked in for a microchip, call us on 0208 459 4729 for a nurse appointment or use our online booking system.


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